session, I say visit. When it comes to Web analytics,
agreeing to standard terminology is just one of the challenges
facing the newly formed Web Analytics Association
Announced today, the WAA's is a
not-for-profit organization formed to bring together vendors,
end-users and consultants involved in Web analytics. Web analytics
is the practice of measuring people's interaction with a Web site �
tracking how they arrive, navigate, find information, respond to,
react to e-mail marketing, manage online self-service and more. For
e-commerce businesses, analyzing shopping cart abandonment is a key
component of Web analytics.
Among the first tasks of the
association is agreeing on common language for measuring and
reporting on key metrics � for example, defining the meaning of
conversions, unique visitors and abandonment.
According to the association's
president, Jim Sterne, the WAA will help users of Web analytics
applications increase their understanding and skills when it comes
to measuring Web site performance. It will also provide a forum they
can use to exert their collective will on the industry. "They'll be
able to take the bull by the horns and steer it towards them."
For vendors, the WAA is "a big focus
group" and for consultants, who are expected to be experts able to
help both vendors and users, the association is "a way to keep
finger on the pulse of the industry," Sterne said
To get the association off the ground,
leading vendors of Web analytics applications put their money where
their mouth is. Founding corporate members of the WAA include
Coremetrics, IBM Surfaid, Nedstat, Omniture, Visual Sciences,
WebSideStory and WebTrends agree to each contribute $15,000 to fund
the association, according to Sterne.
The driving force of the WAA, Sterne
said, will be committees of users, vendors and consultant. The
initial goals of the committees will be to achieve the following
Build consensus, promote and
advance an understanding of the variety of legislative issues
facing Web analytics today.
Inform and educate the marketplace
by developing focused and expert-level education programs to
ultimately result in certification.
Facilitate the promotion and
understanding of regional issues.
Provide relevant and useful data
into trends, best practices and issues facing the Web analytics
Develop common measurement
methodologies, metrics and nomenclature.
Drive the evolution of Web
analytics technology by offering technical expertise and
The founding members on the inaugural
WAA board of directors are Bryan Eisenberg (Future Now Inc.),
chairman; Jim Sterne (Target Marketing), president; Seth Romanow
(Hewlett-Packard Company), vice president; Andrea Hadley (NetSetGo
Marketing), secretary; Andrew Edwards (Technology Leaders),
treasurer; Rand Schulman (WebSideStory), Greg Drew (WebTrends).
memberships to the WAA will be available for $129. Student can become
members for $39. Small companies can join for $2,500 and large companies
for $5,000. The first official meeting of the WAA will take place
in June at the Emetrics Summit in Santa Barbara, Calif.